Humanitarian Affairs

01 October 2020, UN Headquarters

Remarks to the High-Level Meeting on The Central African Republic

[English version; scroll down for as delivered version]

17 September 2020, UN Headquarters

Remarks at the High-Level Ministerial Meeting on Yemen

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I wish to start by reiterating my personal attachment to Yemen, which dates back to my time as High Commissioner for Refugees and I will never forget the generosity of the Yemeni people in hosting refugees. 

Since assuming the position of Secretary-General, I have constantly sought to do whatever I can to help find a peaceful resolution to the conflict. 

23 September 2020, UN Headquarters

Remarks at the High-Level Event of the Internationanl Support Group for Lebanon


Thank you for coming together to reaffirm your support for Lebanon, its people and its stability.
Our hearts are heavy for those who perished or were injured as a result of the devastating August 4 explosions.
Sadly, Lebanon faces a perfect storm: a protracted financial and socioeconomic crisis with an unprecedented rise in unemployment and poverty, coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic.

10 August 2020, UN Headquarters

Briefing on the Humanitarian Situation in Lebanon

I want to express my total solidarity with the people of Lebanon in the aftermath of the horrific explosion that destroyed the port of Beirut and part of the city last Tuesday. 
I offer condolences to the families and loved ones of the more than [150] people who were killed, and a full recovery to the many thousands of injured.   
Even now, almost a week later, many people remain missing. 
The blast was truly shocking. 
In an instant, it flattened vital infrastructure and shattered windows near and far. 

23 June 2020, UN Headquarters

Remarks at press conference on UNRWA Pledging Conference

I thought it was my duty to convey a very strong message of gratitude and support. 

As I said this morning, our objective today was clear:  to come together to mobilize political and financial support for the vital work of UNRWA -- an agency that is not only a lifeline for millions of Palestine refugees, but also critical for regional stability.  

I want to thank all of the donors for stepping up at a critical time and reaffirming solidarity with the Palestine refugees.  

02 June 2020, UN Headquarters

Remarks to the Yemen Pledging Conference

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, assalamu alaikum. 

I thank the Government of Saudi Arabia for co-hosting this pledging event, and for your continued commitment to the humanitarian aid to the people of Yemen. 

And I thank the many governments and representatives demonstrating their solidarity with the Yemeni people, who have suffered so much, and who now face the additional threat of COVID-19. 

30 April 2020, UN Headquarters

Opening remarks at virtual press briefing from UN Headquarters

Dear journalists, good afternoon. It is a pleasure to be back with you, if only virtually, to be able to update you on what we have been doing. 

COVID-19 continues its path of worsening destruction. 

We mourn the lives lost – more than 200,000. 

We despair that many more will follow, particularly in places least able to cope. 

25 March 2020, UN Headquarters

Opening remarks at launch of Global Humanitarian Response Plan for COVID-19

The world faces an unprecedented threat.

The COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly covered the globe. It has spread suffering, disrupted billions of lives and endangered the global economy.

COVID-19 is menacing the whole of humanity – and so the whole of humanity must fight back. Individual country responses are not going to be enough.

Wealthy countries with strong health systems are buckling under the pressure.

Now, the virus is arriving in countries already in the midst of humanitarian crises caused by conflicts, natural disasters and climate change. 

28 February 2020, Security Council

Remarks to the Security Council on Syria

I would like to say a few words to express my deep concern with what I believe is the changing nature of the conflict in Idlib.
The Council is well aware of the dramatic humanitarian situation in the region, namely, following the most recent offensive.
But beyond the dramatic humanitarian situation, I think it's important to acknowledge that the conflict has changed in its nature. And we have witnessed a very meaningful escalation in the last few days.

21 February 2020, UN Headquarters

Remarks to the press on the situation in Syria

We are all aware of the unfolding crisis in northwest Syria and the terrible human toll on civilians.  
Nearly 900,000 people – the vast majority women and children – have fled in the latest fighting under the most tragic circumstances.  Hundreds have been killed.  Many have been uprooted multiple times.  Young children are freezing to death.
The fighting is now advancing into areas with the highest concentrations of people – including the displaced – and threatening to strangle humanitarian lifelines.